Mississippi and Texas governors have announced that they are now lifting all Covid restrictions, including mask mandates.
Greg Abbot, the Governor of Texas, said that the restrictions and mask mandates will end on March 10, adding it was already time to “open Texas 100 percent.”
“Texas is in a far better position now than when I issued my last executive order back in October,” he said.”
“I just announced Texas is OPEN 100%. EVERYTHING. I also ended the statewide mask mandate,” Abbott wrote on Twitter.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves also made a similar announcement, saying he is removing statewide restrictions on all businesses and mask mandates, with the exception of keeping rules in place for schools and maintaining a 50 percent capacity on indoor arenas.
President Joe Biden also said that the country is already on track to vaccinate all adults by the end of May after announcing the partnership between pharmaceutical giants Merck & Co and Johnson & Johnson.
He noted that the collaboration would let the US inoculate more eligible adults faster. “We’re now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May,” he said.
On Monday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC Director, warned states not to rush to ease coronavirus restrictions as “now is not the time” despite an increased pace of the vaccine rollout and decrease in Covid-19 cases.
“Please hear me clearly. At this level f cases with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained,” she said.
But Mississippi Governor Reeves took to Twitter on Tuesday night saying that starting the next day, businesses would be allowed to operate at full capacity and mask mandates would be lifted.
“Our hospitalizations and case numbers have plummeted, and the vaccine is being rapidly distributed. It is time!” Reeves tweeted.
However, public health experts do not agree.
Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease expert at the University of California-San Francisco, said: “We need to keep transmission down as we roll out vaccines to preserve their effectiveness and give the virus less chance to mutate. I do not think it is a good idea to end mask mandates until mass vaccination is reached.”
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